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USDA Invests $2.3 Billion in Projects to Expand Affordable, Reliable, Clean Power in Rural Communities Through Investing in America Agenda

Tegan Griffith
Stevens Point
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s PowerXchange annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas that USDA is moving forward on clean energy investments in 23 states to reduce pollution and strengthen rural America’s power grid. Today’s announcement includes the first five awards totaling $139 million under the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program. Secretary Vilsack also announced $2.2 billion in funding awarded to 39 projects to help ensure over 2 million people in rural areas have access to reliable electricity.

USDA is investing $28 million in Wisconsin and Minnesota through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Funding will help utility providers and electric cooperatives build and improve electric infrastructure, smart-grid technologies, and renewable energy systems.

In Wisconsin:

  • East Central Energy (ECE) will use a $28,249,000 Electric Infrastructure Loan to connect 1,028 consumers and build 84 miles of line. ECE provides electric service to 63,800 consumers through 8,511 miles of line in 11 counties in east central Minnesota and Washburn, Douglas, and Burnett counties in northwest Wisconsin.

“Rural electric cooperatives serve a vital role in delivering power to residents and businesses throughout rural Wisconsin. The investment announced today will help build and improve rural electric infrastructure in the northwestern part of the state.” said USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director Julie Lassa. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping rural electric cooperatives create a path toward a cleaner and more sustainable future that lowers costs for customers, creates good jobs, and builds economic prosperity in our rural communities.”

The projects announced today will ensure more than two million people in rural areas have access to reliable electricity, increasing their opportunities for economic growth and enhancing their overall quality of life.

Electric infrastructure projects announced today will benefit rural business owners, families and individuals in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Texas and Wisconsin.


USDA makes funding available for the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program through regular appropriations from Congress. It provides funding to utility providers and electric cooperatives to build and improve electric infrastructure, smart-grid technologies and renewable energy systems. Through this program, USDA Rural Development ensures everyone in rural areas has access to electricity to increase economic opportunity and quality of life.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. Visit the Rural Data Gateway to learn how and where these investments are impacting rural America.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.